Where Jaylon Johnson stands with the Bears became clear on Wednesday
Jaylon Johnson has emerged as an elite NFL corner this season. He is the strongest piece in the Bears’ secondary, and he needs a new contract.
Contract negotiations between Johnson and the front office stalled early this season. Then Johnson requested a trade when a deal could not be made. This is understandable, he is playing at a very high level and wants to be compensated as such.
In the next few months, Johnson will become a free agent. However, he appears to already have a preference for where he would like to play.
On Wednesday, Johnson was quoted as saying he wants to stay right here in Chicago, as long as he is paid what he’s worth.
“I feel like we’re building something special, too, especially the guys in the locker room. It’s something that I don’t think I can get anywhere else. I would like to stay in that and continue to build, make it better.”
Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that if the Bears offer Johnson a “good offer,” he would stay.
Bears CB Jaylon Johnson says if the team made him a good offer in the next few months, he would take it and not be interested in testing the market as a free agent: "I want to stay here… I would love to stay here.”
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) December 20, 2023
What would a “good offer” look like for Jaylon Johnson?
Lets look to Johnson’s peers around the NFL to see what other top defensive backs are making.
- Packers CB Jaire Alexander: $21 million/year – $84 million total
- Browns CB Denzel Ward: $20 million/year – $100.5 million total
- Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs: $19.4 million/year – $97 million total
Those are a few of the highest paid cornerbacks in the league. Jaylon Johnson would likely be looking for a contract similar to the one listed above. A contract like those would provide Johnson with comparable compensation for his skills. As well as give him some security over the next handful of years.
$19 million for 5 years would add up to $95 million and is comparable to Johnson’s peers. That might be a contract similar to what he is looking for. This is just guess work based on the current CB market. His quote points to him not looking for a market resetting deal, but who knows for sure.
Johnson is a ballhawk corner who will make opposing QBs think twice before throwing his way. He has also emerged as not only a leader for the defense but for the entire team. His quote above about staying in Chicago shows he has bought into what the Bears are building. The culture has changed and this group of players believe they can win.
Letting Jaylon Johnson walk would be a massive mistake. Ryan Poles can save himself a lot of work. Instead of trying to find a another corner, he should extend Johnson. You don’t come across a star corner easily. The Bears have one in Johnson, Poles should pay him whatever he thinks he is worth. He wants to be here, the fans want him here and it seems like the whole team wants him here, lets keep him in Chicago.
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